Friday, September 30, 2011

What I lack in height, I make up for in what I write.

In case you haven't noticed, I write long blog entries. Even on a fashion blog where I'm only supposed to post pictures and write one short paragraph (five sentences max), I ramble on and on and on. In a literary age when brevity is key, I'm afraid I'm locked out---I'm happily traveling this world where words run in abundance and redundancy is the shiznit.

I don't know why I'm like that. I use a LOT of words, and even when I look at what I have written and try to see if there's anything I could chop off, I feel like they're all important words. Like they're my babies. No, I'm not gonna put "really" and "absolutely" up for adoption! Gorgeous is not as gorgeous as absolutely gorgeous!

I write long discourses and long poems. I write even longer personal letters... ones you won't get to see online. My ex told me once that I wrote him such a loooooong letter, he couldn't handle reading it off the monitor. He had to print it out. I guess I'm not the cheating kind, but I am the writing kind. I'm not gonna hurt your feelings, but I will hurt your printer.

What is it with me and long write-ups? I know exactly what's wrong with me, though. Instead of writing "You hurt me.", I will write "Did it ever occur to you that maybe your lack of sensitivity to my feelings would one day cause me immeasurable pain???" (Okay, this is just an example. Trust me, I have not written this exact same sentence ever. But I have written something similar. Haha!)

I don't know... it's just that... "you hurt me" doesn't cut it. "You hurt me" is like you stepped on my foot and now my toe nail is dead. But immeasurable pain is that which takes away your ability to fully function, at least for 48 hours.

In the same way that I don't write "I'm happy." The closest I could get to that is "I'm so freakn happy!!!!!!!" (So if I don't have a lot of words, I have a lot of punctuation marks). I'd say, "What I'm feeling right now is so incomparable to any other blissful emotion I have been blessed with in the past. This takes the proverbial cake."

So I guess what I'm saying is (and I really have to write it now in order to conclude this entry and not defeat my purpose), for this new blog, another thing that's my work in progress is my gradual detachment from unnecessary words. In the same way that I plan to detach myself from all things that are unnecessary in my life----from clothes to emotions to people themselves. As I continue my journey, I plan to discern what I really need from what I think I need. And right now, I think I need to end this entry. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From Fendi To Fire!

Gasp! Screw iPad2! Me wantssss thissss!!! 

Oh, Fair Fendi!

Inspired by Ana Viajera's latest Michael Kors haul, I've decided to do some "advance study". Tee-hee! That just means I'm looking into items which have the potential of being labeled "Christmas gifts for myself". =P  Shout out to Candy:  I have to blame your recent purchase of the drool-worthy Gia satchel for my MK leopard dress. Send me the wedge boots you got as a two-months-late-birthday present? ^_^
Dontcha just love how we ladies justify our shopping escapades by saying it's a way of rewarding ourselves? And to make it more gratifying and less guilt-inducing, we buy stuff in time for "special occasions"... birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, National Coffee Day...

So anyway, for all future shopping plans, I always check to compare prices and product selections.  Although outlet malls are always paradise, online shopping is still funnnn! Check out the latest line of Fendi handbags from BlueFly:

 sand pumpkin rope zucca peek-a-boo satchel (thou shall look good with mine boots!)

 blue "Roman" leather "Selleria" tote (and thou shall look good with anything!)
 milk leather polished gold-tone "peek-a-boo" bag (immaculate!)

So awesome. Not only do we get to say that it's a gift, it's also discounted! The world makes sense again and we can all have a good night's sleep.  =P

I like interludes.

I like posting them on my blog, at least.

It gives me a reason to be absolutely senseless.  And I get to promote anything. I can promote sneezing pandas or random 80's music videos if I wanted to. But since I love you all, and I'm so happy that Fashion CouSense reached its 400-fans mark today, I'm gonna link you to legit blog posts! =D

A few recs, loves!

Oh, I changed my blog layout. Just in case you have some super powers that allow you to neglect a blog's background and focus your vision on the texts.  Don't get too cozy with this one, though, coz I'll be changing it as soon as I find the time! :P  Just gotta find that blog banner...

Aaaaand now, for something almost totally random:

As my sister puts it, Pacey was way ahead of Facebook when it came to writing on a wall. ;-)  If you're wondering why I suddenly posted about Dawson's Creek, well, head over to my fashion blog! =P  Aaaaand, I miss this show.  Aaaaaaaaand this is my blog, so I can post pretty much anything. =))

That's it, I guess, for today's interlude.

This still counts as an update.  Wow, one update a day.  I really thought this was gonna be updated on a weekly basis instead.  Sorta like that 90's local magazine Woman Today.  I remember its tagline pa din, "Woman Today, Make it a habit every Wednesday".  I wonder if it's still in circulation, along with Glitter Magazine---my ultimate source of anything Leonardo DiCaprio.

Anyway, enough of the trips back to memory lane.  Please visit the pages I recommended! Until tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For the first time.

I've been getting showbiz news quite late as I haven't been watching TFC (or any TV for that matter), so I only found out yesterday that Camille Pratts is now a widow.  It came as a shock because I know they're a really young couple.  The majority conclusion after assessing such a tragedy is that "Life is short."  I agree, of course.  But then, as pointed out by my good friend Jen, our poetry professor, the legendary Cirilo Bautista once said that life is actually long.  And I can't help but see the logic in that too.

I think life is short for the one lost.  But life is long for the one who loses, the one left behind.

And yet, no matter how many times we see young people dying or succumbing to some other form of misfortune which incapacitates them from living an otherwise free life, do we really make a conscious effort to, well, seize the day?  It's not really living as though it were your last day.  It's more like, living it and doing something thinking that the time and opportunity might not present themselves again.

I have to say that I used to be guilty of that.  When this year started though, I also started to try out things I've never tried before.  Not because I was thinking that I can die any moment so I might as well try it.  I was just thinking, if I won't try this now, when will I?  When would be the perfect time to try this?  I guess you can say I was a bit of a yes girl for a while. I didn't say yes to everything, but I certainly thought long and hard before I said no to an adventure.

That's what I called things I haven't tried.  An adventure.  And if things didn't turn out well, I just charge it to experience. Damn, experience must be sinking in so much debt by now. All the charges I've been making!

I tried bowling for the first time this year and it was not pretty sight.  I took the ball, swung, and just when I moved my hand forward to release it, I heard a loud thud.  I searched for the ball in front, wishing it didn't land on the canal too quickly, only to realize I dropped it as I swung and it has rolled backwards. Away from me.  Towards my humiliation.

Will I do it again? Of course.   Kelangan ko lang ng practice, preferably without any cute boys watching! =P

Wehehehehe. Yes, the we + heheheheh is a must for this one. I mowdeled. Weheheheheh again.  I've done a bit for school PR and for the travel magazine I wrote for,  but nothing too fancy.  For some reason, I always "model" for a spa, so my back always has more showbiz career than the rest of me.  Last year, I had a brief runway stint in Istanbul.  UNFORGETTABLE. I'll blog about it separately. :)  It's not everyday you get to walk down the runway with gorgeous models. Never mind that I was the shortest and only came up to their knees.

This year, though, I had to do pictorials for my fashion blog.  There really is a huge difference between being a model and a fashion blogger.  With fashion blogging, I just wear my clothes, smile, and that's it.  With mowdeling, there are challenging poses and facial expressions that I just can't seem to manage without a laugh.  If I'm told to project fierce or lost or dejected, I have to laugh out loud first.  Then maybe after ten shots, I'd achieve the peg.

Will I keep doing this? I'm still a smiley smiley kind of mowdel.  So, I don't know. Weheheheheh.

I'm really happy I gave this one a shot (pun intended).  This "trial" was a stimulus of sorts.  It got me to go back to writing again. And with prodding from Ana Viajera, I found a bit of joy in taking photos of my culinary adventures.  I feel like this is one of the biggest construction sites in my life right now---photography.  I'm getting to know what pictures I like, what colors, what settings, what moods, what stories.

Everything that we do for the first time is special. But I think that because I am doing "first time" things when I am considerably older, they make more sense.  Experiences have more meaning, because there's a lot of life's back stories to attach it with, to analyze it with.  I take pleasure in trying out new things.  From web designing to baking chocolate chip cookies to drinking milk in a wine glass---it's all more pleasurable, more memorable (cheesier too).

Experiences have become events, and I'm living to celebrate.  God forbid that if I died young, people would say "Life is short."  I hope they say, "That was a life well lived."  To live life fully... I cut back on all the I want to's and focused more on I do and I will.  =)

Monday, September 26, 2011


Istanbul, 2010
The photo above is, perhaps, the first one I took which made me realize that photography isn't just an "expensive hobby" as I have deemed it to be in the last decade.  I started to see hints of it as another art which I can explore.  Incidentally, this photo also speaks of what my favorite subject is.  I like taking photos of people, but not the ones directly smiling at the camera.  That's my job. ;-)

I like taking "paparazzi" shots.  I love capturing moments which really tell a story. Maybe it's the writer in me that leans toward those kinds of images.  It's attractive---how one scene, frozen in a second, can be interpreted in so many ways.  You can play caption contests and come up with a million plausible anecdotes to back up the image, but you'll never know the real story.  (Not unless you walk up to your subject and ask them, of course.)

I am drawn to these scenes.


Even in a crowded town on a busy weekend, love stands out. (And so does the Clean Air Hybrid Bus).

Sometimes, I want to write short stories alongside these photos. Speculate on what's going on. Weave conversations in my head. Put fiction in my vision.

I wonder, what's the epilogue to these photographs? Is the Turkish couple still together? And what of the old man at the gas station? Is it still Loves? Or is it Loved now?  And the Chicago couple---are they just starting out or is that a goodbye smile and touch? There are so many scenarios, so many possibilities.  All arising from one captured second.  I realize, if so many possibilities could arise from a single frozen moment, imagine how much more there would be in a moving reality... every hand movement extended or withdrawn, every step taken or halted, every smile given or withheld.  Anything done differently leads to some other possibility.

But these possibilities are beyond the framing capabilities of my camera.  So for now, I will settle for capturing segments in life's stories, with unknown characters and mysterious plots.  We'll get to the ending, later.  We always do anyway, don't we?


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mi Corazon

mommy & moi
Mommy Cory.

That's what everyone calls her.  Well, at least the ones that don't call her Ate Vi. =P

She's Mommy Cory to a lot, but of course, she's MY mommy.  Everyone says their mom is the best. Mine isn't the best. But she's the best for a daughter like me.  My mom isn't perfect, but she's perfect for me and to me. And although that may sound cliched and cheesy, it's true. And if you knew me and my mom and what we've been through, then you'll say that past all the corny details, I only speak the truth.

Today is her birthday. September 25th. Although for several years, we thought it was September 24th.  Such is the joy of having discrepancies in birth  and baptismal certificates. ;-)

Anyway, in celebration of her birthday, I'm dedicating the first real, non-introductory post here at my blog with a tribute to her. She is, after all, my reason and inspiration for putting up this site.

Now, I can make another video tribute or a photo collage or write her poetry as a way of greeting her a happy birthday, but I've done all that in the past. So I figured this time, I'm just gonna let the entire world (at least those countries with internet access) know how grateful I am to be blessed with a mother like Corazon del Rio.  Pangalan pa lang, artista na di ba? Sa kanya ako nag-mana. =P

My mom, apart from being half the cause of my very existence, has been there for me in all the ups and downs of my life. She's my best supporter, constant critic, and Facebook profile photo screening board chairperson.  If you want to know where I learned how to dress up, you have to look at my mother.  She's my biggest style icon.

Christmas 2008 with my sisters Karen & Iris

I feel like it's not good enough unless my mom approves of it---whether it's work, clothes, or boys.  Not only because she knows best, but also because she knows what's best for me. She's been through everything! And so, whatever it is I'm going through or gonna go through, she already has words of wisdom to share with me.  She's licensed to say "Been there, done that."

I also have to say that in the times when I thought I knew better, I was of course mistaken and just later wished I listened to my mom.  She could easily give me the "I told you so," speech but she skips that and says "I love you, anak." instead.  I know that a lot of people (well, girls mostly) would like to think that they have love-hate relationships with their moms and would rather confide to friends... but I know from experience that eventually, friends can get tired of your drama.  And the only one left who's willing to listen is your momma.  So, just as that song goes... skip the drama, stay with mama. ;-)

With our youngest, Lex. =P

Believe it or not, I have a lot of frustrations! I am perpetually bombarded with goals of doing something great, something that will change the world.  That elusive dream of making a difference.  But one night, my mom told me that she thinks I have already achieved enough.  And that I have gone beyond what was expected of me.  I never got to tell her how much that moment meant to me.  And if anything, I think it made me want to do something even more amazing.  And whatever this feeling is, this need to somehow make a difference in whatever little way, I think it's because of her. She has raised me to be aware and grateful of whatever talents I have, and she's always pushed me to excellence.

July 2010

I think that, despite my flaws and shortcomings, my parents have raised me well. And although I love my dad to infinity and beyond, I've spent more time with my mother and I've learned more from her. I guess it's a girl thing. ;-)

Life would definitely be so much different if I had a different mother. For one, I don't think there's anyone out there who's as strong as Cory del Rio who can handle me.  ;-) I can be a handful sometimes! But my mother knows me well, and I'm thankful that in times that I don't think I know myself enough, she's there to remind me about who I am and who I am meant to be.

Christmas 2009

Side trivia.  My mom had a household rule before.  My sisters and I were not allowed to have boyfriends until we're done with school.  And I never complained, never questioned it. Just followed the rule, because honestly, it was a good rule.  Such a good rule I still didn't get in a relationship until I was four years done with school (I was taking up masters, so I guess technically I was still in school and the rule still applied?).  My sisters and I could have easily disobeyed that rule, went behind my mom's back.  But we didn't.  Because my mom just imposed the rule in such a caring, it's-for-your-own-good way. It wasn't a threat, it wasn't a you're-gonna-be-grounded-for-life-if-you-disobey rule.  It was just something that was easy to follow because we knew my mom had our best interests at heart. And all three of us followed it!

I wonder sometimes, if I tell my daughter "You're not gonna have a boyfriend until you're done with college," what's she gonna say to me? Maybe I can just challenge her.  Beat my age. Oldest one to get a boyfriend gets a car. Or something.

Back when I was skinny and had braces!

The point is, I admire my mom---as a woman, as a mother.  Her strength is just... super woman strength. I swear it's out of this world.  If I can be half the strong woman that she is, I can consider myself fully accomplished. I won't have to save the world anymore. I'd be proud of that achievement alone.  But it's tough.  With our family, with our trials, with everything.  She's just incredibly headstrong and she can endure so many things.  My mother's tolerance for bullshit negativity is just on a whole different level. I wish I inherited that gene!

Cory and kids (with grandkid)

My mom is wonder woman, super woman, the entire justice league in one 5-feet package.  She's got an amazing sense of style, an exceptionally open mind, and incredible courage and strength that somehow inspires people around her to be brave as well. She's a good listener and an even better adviser.  She's the strongest woman I know, and she's my idol in so many ways.  She's a remarkable woman and I thank God that He decided to put her in our family.  My siblings and I are lucky to be blessed with her as our mother. 

Nobody does, and can do, it better.

April 2010.  With all the girls who call her Mommy Cory. :)

I can write a novel on how lucky I am to have my mom, complete with all the love & care, comic moments, the disagreements, the tearful conversations, the moments of victory, etc.  But for now, let this birthday tribute be a summary.

I am who and what I am now because of my family.  Because of how my mother raised me, and because of the love she has showered me with.  In the race between experience and my mom as to who is the better teacher, I have to say that it's a tie for now.  I have learned so much from my mother and I continue to learn from her.

I miss her a lot and I love her more than any video, picture, or blog entry could say.

Happy birthday, mommy.  And on a scale of 1 to 10 of how amazing you are as a woman, mother, and friend, this is my score for you:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Waiting

In 2004, I joined DLSU's Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program and there, I met the country's best professors, most talented writers, and the most amazing friends---one of which is the spectacular Candy Villanueva-Lykes who is also my editor, fashion consultant, and life coach. And she's one of the three people responsible for the birth of this blog (and may this be the last).


I'm writing again. I stopped for a while. Yes, there were occasional poems here and there, some emotionally charged blog entries, random thoughts on universal conspiracies and relationshits, the likes.  But it's been years since I actually sat down, armed myself with a cup of coffee, and said, I am going to write because I have something to significant to say. Something that won't waste the time of readers.  That's one of the most important lessons I've learned in MFA.  When you write, you're asking time from your readers.  You're taking time from them when you ask them to read what you wrote. Don't waste it.

I can't promise you that I won't waste your time. But I can promise that I'll make sure to warn you if there's a potential time wastage on a particular blog entry (did you think I was gonna promise you that wasting your time will be worth it? =P).

So here we are now.  My work in progress. Aptly titled because everything here is under construction and reconstruction---including most especially the author.


My mother is a very wise woman.  And she is the second person in the triumvirate responsible for the creation of this blog. (The third person is, of course, yours truly and if you didn't figure that out then you're a lot worse at math and logic than I am.)   My mom always said that maybe the reason I have endured so much bullshit heartbreak and survived is because I'm meant to write about it.  And from my words, people would find comfort, hope, and eventually freedom (right after they barf from all the cheese & sap and then have their eyeballs pop out in disbelief as they read about my life stories).

I didn't believe it at first. But recently, as I found myself offering "words of wisdom" to countless girlfriends, I realized my mom was right. Maybe I should, after all, write.

I may not be a best seller, but I could be a best friend.


I am waiting for something.  And while I wait, I will write.  I will take pictures. I will mowdel*.  I will cook. I will rhyme. I will draw. I will laugh. I will be here for you**.  I will live.  I am, after all, the little girl that will.

This blog is all things Cherie.  This is Cheriecity and you're welcome to stay.  Visit the mandatory About Me page if you want a less sappy, more technical description of Cherie del Rio. =P

If you want to know what I look like, go to my fashion blog.  If you want to know what I look at, go to my photoblog.  If you want to know my outlook, come visit here every day.

Smile.  And live.

Come visit and wait with me. =)

*mowdel is a FANCY TERM me and my awesome friends use to describe the glamor shots and fashion photography that I do for
**anyone and everyone I know and love (and wouldn't think that what I just said is weird and cheesy).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Here is where it begins. Always.

I have lost track of the number of blogs I have created, managed, loved, hated, and eventually debunked. Today, I keep two blogs running: CherieCity and my photoblog, Poetry in Four Edges. And while these two blogs are relatively sufficient in becoming an outlet for the onslaught of my creative juices, I'm afraid that both have very restrictive topics. I can't exactly write about my fear of baby birds and my lifelong dream to marry John Lloyd Cruz on a fashion blog. And, I doubt if anyone would appreciate photos of cream cheese spread on chicken nuggets.

I also wanted to consolidate all my works into one website of awesomeness. A one-stop shop for all things Cherie, so to speak.

And so, here begins your journey into Cherieland. Don't worry, I am God's work in progress and I am journeying to find myself too. (Aren't you amazed at how quickly I can shift from being exceptionally dorky to downright cheesy?).  I don't have a map to Cherieland, yet. But this website aims to be such. I guess for now, this is a blank map. And as I fill this up with content, the places will eventually be drawn out too.  So, get lost with me, why dontcha? ;-)

Having kept so many blogs all those years, I have come to realize that it is one thing to write in order to share a bit of yourself and entertain your readers, and another to share a bit more and worry about their reaction. This is, I guess, what lies in between.